The television ratings have ended for another year. While Seven has claimed the main prize, it is a contest where Nine and Ten also find something to celebrate.
Nine claims it has won the contest for the advertiser-friendly younger demographics and for the 6.00pm news battle.
Ten, which just scraped ahead of ABC after being beaten by them last year, claims to again be #1 in daytime (9am-6pm) as well as recording the best prime time growth of all networks in the 25-54 age group.
Seven has claimed victory in prime time (6pm-12mn) for the period from 9 February to 29 November (excluding the two weeks surrounding Easter) — the official survey periods declared by ratings agency OzTAM, covering the capital city markets of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
Seven’s network share of 30.4% (down slightly from 2013) is followed by Nine (29.2%), Ten (17.9%), ABC (17.4%) and SBS (5.2%).
Broken down to individual channels — Seven (21.8%) defeated Nine (21.2%), followed by ABC1 (12.7%), Ten (11.9%), 7TWO and GO! (4.6% each), SBS One (4.1%), 7mate (4.0%), GEM (3.4%), One and Eleven (3.0% each), ABC2 (2.7%), ABC News 24 (1.1%), ABC3 and SBS2 (0.9% each) and NITV (0.1%).
(These figures are based on preliminary results and may vary slightly when delayed viewing for the last survey week is added but is unlikely to change the finishing order.)
Seven continued to have success with My Kitchen Rules (“The Winner Announced”, pictured, watched by 2.712 million across 5 cities) and even House Rules, which started on shaky ground in 2013, ended its second series on a high (with “The Winner Announced” scoring 2.07m). Further down the list was the winner’s announcement for The X Factor (1.419m) — while The Big Adventure and The Amazing Race: Australia Versus New Zealand showed that reality formats, as adventurous as they might be, do not necessarily always translate into ratings gold. Even Dancing With The Stars, which concluded its 14th series last week, has had some of the shine taken off its ratings mirror ball (grand final: 1.063m).
The AFL Grand Final (2.828m) topped Seven’s list of sports coverage, followed by the Melbourne Cup (the race watched by 2.184m), the Men’s Final of the Australian Open (1.687m) and Bathurst 1000 (1.357m)..
Among the list of regular series titles, Seven had success with A Place To Call Home (1.154m) — though this was not enough to save the show from the axe, only to have it picked up by Foxtel for 2015 — and overseas shows Downton Abbey, The Blacklist and Revenge. Winners And Losers was bumped around the schedule but surprisingly managed a series average of just over 1 million viewers.
Telemovie The Killing Field (1.405m) drew a strong audience and is to be followed up with a spin-off series, Winter, in 2015. But the network’s biggest drama hit was the mini-series INXS: Never Tear Us Apart (Part One: 2.243m) which kick-started Seven’s ratings season back in February.
Sunrise continues its dominance in the breakfast timeslot, and Sunday Night (1.805m) has beaten 60 Minutes (1.722m), though the two shows were rarely directly up against each other.
Nine’s year was topped by The Block: Glasshouse‘s “Winner Announced” (2.687m) followed by the NRL Grand Final (2.621m) and NRL State Of Origin (Match 2: 2.6m).
The series return of The Voice (2.229m) rated well but figures dipped for the show’s grand final (1.663m). The TV Week Logie Awards suffered a ratings blow (992k) up against an episode of My Kitchen Rules (2m), not helped by the awards telecast’s usual custom of being delayed and edited and still managing to almost stretch to almost midnight on a Sunday night.
New drama series Love Child (1.466m) was a ratings hit, while the Underbelly franchise that wasn’t, Fat Tony And Co (1.214m) still fared admirably. Just scraping above the one million viewers mark was House Husbands (1.06m).
The hastily-rescheduled telemovie Schapelle, shifted to capitalise on the Bali prisoner’s release on parole, didn’t fare as well (1.153m) up against the INXS series on Seven.
Hamish And Andy’s Gap Year South America (1.142m) might have been the last in the Gap Year series but showed that the pair still command a strong following.
Nine News (1.114m) claimed victory in the 6.00pm news battle, taking over from Seven News (1.087m), although the latter still commands a strong lead in Adelaide and Perth.
Ten’s year started well with the Big Bash League and Winter Olympics and then with the XX Commonwealth Games in July-August. The Commonwealth Games in particular provided more pleasing results compared to the previous Games of 2010. The Australian FIA Formula One World Championship also delivered high ratings (race: 1.36m) in its simulcast between Ten and One.
MasterChef Australia was on the comeback trail after a disappointing 2013, and did so with pleasing results (“Winner Announced”: 1.749m). Ten didn’t have much luck, however, with other reality titles — with the revival of So You Think You Can Dance bombing in the ratings. The Biggest Loser also struggled in comparison to previous years but is set for a revamp in 2015.
The Bachelor worked itself up to a strong finale (“The Final Decision”: 1.44m) and the theatrics of the post-series affairs between bachelor Blake Garvey and some of the female contestants led to the show continuing to spark publicity well after it had wrapped up for the year. Subsequent appearances of Garvey and female contestants on Ten’s The Project saw that show reach its highest numbers since expanding to a one-hour format.
Just over a million viewers tuned in to see Michael Parkinson‘s interview with Ian Thorpe. US comedy Modern Family hit a ratings high with its Australian episode (1.2m) and the year’s final episode of Have You Been Paying Attention? scored a series high of 641k.
Ten’s drama slate was headed by Offspring (final: 1.15m), and it is still unclear if it will be back in 2015, while the murder mystery Secrets And Lies failed to gain much interest despite the concept being picked up for an adaptation by US television. The political-themed Party Tricks (602k), headed by Asher Keddie and Rodger Corser (pictured), struggled despite promising reviews.
The long-awaited return of Puberty Blues (637k) and Wonderland (580k) were unable to maintain strong numbers, while long-running series Neighbours (soon to celebrate its 30th anniversary) is still plugging away over on Eleven. Its numbers often struggle to pass the 300k mark but still tops Eleven’s program rankings.
Probably the biggest surprise for many was the relative success of the mid-year launch of game show Family Feud. Possibly helped by Ten’s programming tactic of simulcasting it across all three of its channels each night, Family Feud has found a stable following (602k).
Another show to be something of a quiet achiever for Ten has been The Living Room. The lifestyle-entertainment show (550k, and “The Hot List” special: 641k) managed to grow its audience despite the competition of Friday night sports coverage on other networks and Seven’s perennial favourite Better Homes And Gardens.
ABC’s year was topped by British dramas Doc Martin (1.242m) and Death In Paradise (1.173m) and the Australian series The Doctor Blake Mysteries (1.054m).
The two episodes of the recent Countdown tribute, Countdown: Do Yourself A Favour, scored 965k and 919k.
For SBS their biggest rating for the year came from the FIFA World Cup, including the Chile v Australia match scoring 1.74m viewers.
As of yesterday (Sunday) networks go into summer non-ratings mode, though viewing data is still collected by OzTAM and reported to networks over the non-ratings period.
The 2015 ratings year begins on 8 February and continues through to 28 November, with a two-week break over the Easter period.
Data © OzTAM Pty Limited 2014. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM.